Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Is that all they've got?

I used to think George Will was tolerable because he broke with Bush on the war earlier than many conservatives. But what an unthinking, doctrinaire, pompous dolt he seemed tonight. He was on Charlie Rose and Charlie gave him enough rope: Charlie asked him where conservatism could go next having run into the withering combination of Obama's tough graces and Bush's thorough incompetence. Will did not even disagree with Charlie's contention that conservatives seemed to be gasping for new ideas. But even as he conceded that it might be in a fallow period, Will flatly and with no hint of wry or wistful knowing of complexities stated that "Conservatism has a great advantage over liberalism, it has the truth" and so it will prevail. It was a religious faith affirmation but made with a purely political vocabulary. I could not capture the crack-brained inconsistencies of so called conservative thought more clearly if I wrote a novel.

He made that remark, pretty much in those words, in the context of Rose questioning whether the role of conservatives in US affairs might now shrink back to something nearer its cranky minority status from which W. F. Buckley supposedly saved it. I turned the TV off with Will still swinging by that knot of faith and illogic.

Meanwhile over at NY Times David Brooks steps around the end result of conservative thought having grabbed leadership of the US government as gingerly as Gene Kelly might have skirtted a pile of dog poop:

More fundamentally, McCain’s problem is that his party is unfit to govern. As research from the Republican pollster David Winston has shown, any policy becomes less popular when people learn that Republicans are supporting it. If the G.O.P. sponsored the sunrise, voters would prefer gloom. Many Republicans are under the illusion that they are in trouble because they’ve betrayed their core principles. The sad truth is that if they’d been more conservative, they’d be even further behind.

I’ve spent the past few years trying to find conservative experts to provide remedies for middle-class economic anxiety. Let me tell you, the state of free-market thinking on this subject is pathetic. There are a few creative thinkers (most of them under 30), but for the most part, McCain is forced to run in an intellectual void.

In my little menagerie of political freaks, hereby replace George Will with David Brooks in the role of Honorary Ambassador from the Dark Side.

1 comment:

cul said...

I second that nomination. Brooks has, I think, been pushed to inspired clarity of late by the death of his salad days friend and mentor Wm Buckley Jr.

I wouldn't be surprised to see him move his things out of the Dark Star altogether in the not too distant future.